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How I Stick to a $60 a Week Grocery Budget

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Do you struggle with keeping your grocery budget low? Here’s how I stick to a $60 a week grocery budget, including tips and recipes!

Do you constantly find yourself looking for ways to cut back on your grocery budget? And looking for cheap meal ideas?

I’m right there with you, friend!

My family of 3 has eaten on many a tight budget over the years- sometimes $60, sometimes $30- and each time we had to get creative.

The best tips below are what I followed when we had a $60 per week grocery budget. I still follow these tips even on my now $100 budget, and I show these grocery hauls now on Youtube.

Hopefully these will help you find the cheapest meal ideas and help you stick to your low budget!

DISCLAIMER: I live in Ohio, which seems to have cheaper food prices. You may not be able to recreate my menus for the same price. We also don’t eat organic foods or purely “clean”, although we buy a ton of fresh produce every week.

How i stick to a $60 per week grocery budget

I make cheap, simple meals

I’ve pinned a bunch of stuff to Pinterest before because the final result looks so delicious! And then I click to see the recipe, and it involves a TON of ingredients that I never keep in the house and will waste if I don’t use all of it in that one recipe.

I love simple and efficient! Anything with 5 main ingredients or less is my perfect meal. Sorry soups, but a lot of you just have WAY too many ingredients! I love making broccoli cheese soup and tomato soup, but that’s about it.

I also don’t use very expensive meats, buying pretty much only chicken breasts and ground turkey because it’s the cheapest meat I can find.

I’ll also get the occasional pork loin when it goes on sale for less than $1.50/lb. I’ve found that I don’t miss ground beef at all now that I have ground turkey! I can’t even taste the difference.

Once or twice a week, I’ll do meatless meals, too. Rice and beans for dinner? Yep! Just add a tortilla shell and you can make an awesome, filling quesadilla.

I also like just buying a box of pasta and a jar of spaghetti sauce to have a simple, cheap dinner that gives us leftovers.

Image of an Aldi grocery store

I shop at Aldi for 70% of my groceries

Aldi has been my lifesaver when it comes to buying healthy ingredients for really cheap! I buy all my baking supplies there, as well as canned goods, produce, and ground turkey.

At Aldi, I save at least 30-40% on everything, and the quality is right about the same. If you don’t have an Aldi in your area, look for another discount store like Save-A-Lot and see what you can buy cheaper than a regular grocery store. These stores definitely help keep your weekly budget low!

See: 20 Aldi Items That Save $37 a Month on Groceries

Image of strawberries and bluberries on a kitchen counter

I only buy in-season produce

Allison and I LOVE strawberries, but holy cow, have you seen their prices when they’re not in season? I can get them on sale easily for $1.00 a pound, but in the off-season they can be upwards of $3-$4.00 a pound!

I just can’t see myself buying 3-4 packages at a time (which is what we usually do when they’re on sale) at that price. So when I can, I’ll buy a bunch at the lowest price, wash them, and chop/freeze for a later time.

I use a vinegar/water soak for my berries- find out more in this post about how to make strawberries last longer!

If I don’t plan on freezing produce, I’ll just plan dinner around what produce is on sale. Butternut squash and sweet potatoes are on sale in the winter? You can bet I’ll be using them at least once a week. What a great way to save money AND eat healthy foods!

If you only buy the produce that’s in season and work your meals around that, you’ll be saving so much money every week!

See: How to Enjoy Cheap Produce All Year Long

Image of pancakes on a plate

I make breakfast for dinner once a week

Seriously, pancakes and eggs make for a great dinner! You can keep a box of pancake mix around, or make your own to store it. It’s so cheap to make, and our family loves pancakes. We’ve also done biscuits and gravy and waffles.

Image of pancakes being cooked on a griddle

Sometimes making pancakes can be time-consuming, so I use a good-sized griddle to save time and energy. Mine can make up to 6 pancakes at once; so for a standard pancake recipe like my Healthy Pumpkin Pancakes, it only takes 3 go-rounds to make them all!

I eat leftovers every day for lunch

Maybe it’s just because we’re a family of 3, but every dinner I cook makes at least 2-3 servings for leftovers the next day. And right now, since we’re practicing portion control, we have LOTS of leftovers.

I’ve tried to buy extra stuff for lunches for us, but that resulted in so much food we had to throw some away. It just didn’t work for us!

We have no problem eating leftovers, so we just happily eat them to save money. Allison, on the other hand, usually won’t eat most of my dinners (typical toddler), which means she won’t eat it the next day for lunch, either. So I buy good, healthy lunches for her, which doesn’t cost a whole lot.

Image of Tupperware containers on a kitchen counter

If you eat leftovers a lot, make sure you get good containers. My favorites are these divided containers from Rubbermaid, because you can separate the main dish from the veggies and they stack quite nicely in the fridge!

This may not work for you, especially if you have a larger family, but if you’re in this position, consider having leftovers for lunch! It really keeps my grocery bill down.

Image of bags of frozen black beans inside a deep freezer

I bulk cook and freeze items

Over the years I’ve begun to realize that it’s better/cheaper to make certain items myself to always keep in the house!

Right now I bulk cook black beans and pizza sauce, and sometimes spaghetti sauce. It’s cheaper, tastes better, and I know I always have them in the house if I suddenly need a meal.

Image of homemade cinnamon raisin bread

I make my own bread items

Okay, I only do this most of the time! Things like dinner rolls, breadsticks, and English muffins I always make, because I can’t see myself paying $2-$3 for a package! Tortillas I’ll sometimes make, but if the whole wheat ones go on sale at Meijer for $1.00 a pack, I’ll buy some to stock up. Those take a little longer to make than bread items.

I’ve been buying loaves of bread from my local bread outlet because they can be marked down to 50 cents per loaf. Homemade bread may taste better, but you can’t beat a 50-cent price tag.

With all that said, if I know that the next week is going to be tough budget-wise, I’ll go ahead and make all my bread products instead of buying them. I’ll spend a little extra time in the kitchen if it means saving a few dollars on our budget!

Granola bars are also something I’ll sometimes make when money is tight. We’re big snackers, and making our own snack foods keeps the budget low.

Image of a box of Ziploc bags and a large bag of shredded cheddar cheese

I only buy one big stock-up item each week

Our $60 a week grocery budget includes household items, so sometimes I have to get creative.

I usually buy toilet paper, paper towels, baby wipes, and dishwasher tabs at Sam’s Club, and those can easily be $15.00+ each. If I notice we’re low on something, I’ll add it to our grocery list and figure out some really cheap meals to make so we can afford to buy that item. This is where keeping my pantry and freezer full really helps!

See: How to Use Your Pantry to Make Free Meals

Image of Sam's Club gift cards being redeemed from Swagbucks

To help supplement our income so we can buy more bigger items at Sam’s Club, I use Swagbucks to earn a $25.00 gift card about once a month!

Swagbucks is a site where you can earn points, called Swagbucks, by taking surveys, watching videos, and performing various activities. It’s free to sign up and easy to use, so make sure you click here to create your account today! Need help? Make sure you check out my tutorial on how I earn my Swagbucks!

Depending on your family size and income, $60 or $75 may not be feasible. A family of 5 or 6 may spend much more than my family of 3!

The tips above still hold true no matter your budget; and if you follow them closely, you’ll find you may have some extra wiggle room in your spending! And you’ll still be able to make delicious meals!

Do you have any other tips that help you stay within your budget? Leave a comment below!

SaveWant more healthy meal ideas? Be sure to download my FREE Healthy Meal Plan!


Sunday 11th of July 2021

I make my own ground chicken breast. Not only is it less expensive than ground chicken or turkey, it is leaner because it is just white meat. Cut chicken in large cubes and chop in batches in food processor. I only have a very small food processor so it do it in 3 portions.


Tuesday 12th of November 2019

These are great tips. I love Aldi's too. And buying produce in season and freezing it is such a good idea!


Monday 22nd of July 2019

I feel so silly not thinking of freezing fruit. I love these suggestions. We are eating on 40$ a week for a family of 7. It is by choice but still difficult. This will help thank you!


Tuesday 23rd of July 2019

WOW! I'm seriously impressed by your budget right now. =) Whatever it is you're going through, I hope you're immensely blessed by this!

Jeff @ Mondaymorningpancakes

Thursday 24th of January 2019

Love the breakfast for dinner. My wife started getting our grocery bill down to $250 doing just about everything you mentioned here. WE LOVE ALDI. It has literally been the best thing to happen to us. We took our grocery bill down from $500-600/month to $250 just by shopping for only what we need and changing our store. It has been amazing to get that cash back to what matters. We try to stick to exclusively $60 a week but sometimes go over. Do you go over often?

Oh and yes we are addicted to our bread machine. Fancy bread quality for Great Value prices. :)


Friday 25th of January 2019

That's awesome, Jeff!

Very rarely do I go over our grocery budget. But when I do, it's for really good deals, like chicken breasts or a few clearance items I know we can't live without. ;) It's never more than $10 though, and I just take it out of the next week's budget.

Linda J

Saturday 19th of January 2019

Prep meals in bulk..freeze. You can make casseroles and freeze them. When I buy hamburger, for instance, I make 3 meals from one pound of hamburger. We eat one that night. Either eat another the next night or during that week and 3rd dish is frozen in a container to go into the oven when we eat it at a later date. Casseroles are going to have vegies..or beans..or potatoes...and very small amount of meat. You won't miss a large amount of meat because of the rest of the ingredients. When i freeze casseroles i use aluminum pans from the dollar store. For 2 to 3 people the 8 x 8 pans are a generous meal.


Monday 21st of January 2019

We like to stretch our meat as well! You're right, casseroles are really good at doing that. =)

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